Senate Probes Alleged Lopsided Recruitment in DSS

  • Orders Gbajabiamila to quit lottery commission
  • Acting SGF begs Senate

Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator Tijjani Kaura, has disclosed that the committee is already investigating reports of lopsidedness in the recruitment of cadets into the service of the Department of State Services (DSS).
There have been reports that a recent recruitment into the service, heavily favoured candidates from the North.

Kaura, in a point of order raised on the floor of the Senate yesterday, said the committee is looking into the matter to make sure the recruitment conforms with the provisions of the constitution.

“In the last few weeks, Nigerian media, both print and electronic, have been awash with issues that have to do with recruitment of cadet officers of the DSS.

I stand before you on behalf of the Committee of Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to assure our distinguished colleagues and indeed all Nigerians that this committee is looking critically into this matter with the intention of ensuring that justice is done in this recruitment,” he said.

“Furthermore, I also want to add that this committee had similar cases from other agencies, and is also critically looking at them at the same time, to make sure that justice in done in consideration to provisions of the constitution,” Kaura added.

Presiding, Senate President Bukola Saraki said the Senate would be awaiting the committee’s findings and recommendations.

“I am happy that you are looking in to the matter. I think you will keep us posted on your findings and recommendations,” he added.

In another development, the Senate yesterday ordered Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila to quit the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, and desist from parading himself as the Director General of the agency.

The Senate had last Wednesday directed the Majority Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, to investigate reports that Gbajabiamila, following the announcement in early April of his appoinment as DG of the commission, has resumed office.

Lawan, at plenary yesterday confirmed the reports that Gbajabiamila has indeed been performing the functions of the office, without confirmation of his appointment by the Senate.

Section 8 (1) of the Lottery Act provides that the DG of the commission must be confirmed by the Senate.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) the Senate by way of resolution mandated me to investigate an issue, a case of a nominee who is yet to be screened and confirmed by the Senate and who is yet to receive an appointment letter from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, but that nominee assumed office,” he said.

“I stand here to report what actually happened. The nominee for the office the Director-General of the National Lottery Commission actually assumed office,” he added.

Lawan added that the nominee must have been misguided to assume office without going through due process.

“I spoke with all those who should know better, including the acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the conclusion is that he erred because probably he did not get the correct briefing that he should have waited until the due process and diligence were completed,” Ladan said.

“I believe that was an error and there was a genuine appeal from the executive, that no such thing would ever happen again. I advised the SGF that the nominee should not be seen within the vicinity of the office of the DG until he is confirmed and an appointment letter is given to him,” the Leader said.

Ruling on the matter, Saraki said the nominee must not be seen in the premises of the lottery commission.

“The leader has done a very thorough job and responded promptly in 24 hours, firstly to establish that the point raised by Senator Dino was factual and that this kind of thing, we must stamp it out and it must not occur again. He has erred and probably been misguided. He must not be seen in that area,” Saraki ruled.

However, the Acting Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mrs. Habibat Lawal, has apologised to the Senate for allowing Gbajabiamila to assume office without confirmation.